Attitudes about patient safety: a survey of physicians-in-training

Am J Med Qual. Mar-Apr 2005;20(2):70-7. doi: 10.1177/1062860604274383.


Little is known about the attitudes of physicians-in-training on patient safety, although success in error reduction strategies requires their support. We surveyed house staff and fourth-year medical students from 1 academic institution about their perceptions of adverse patient events. Three hundred twenty-one trainees (41%) completed the survey. Most believe adverse events are preventable (61%) and think improved teamwork (88%), better procedural training (74%), and improved sign-out (70%) would reduce medical mishaps. Forty-seven percent of trainees agree computerized order entry and restricted work hours would prevent adverse events. Although 60% feel malpractice fears inhibit discussion, 80% of trainees agreed physicians must disclose adverse events to patients and grow more comfortable with disclosure as training progresses (P for trend<.01). In conclusion, trainees believe adverse events are preventable and are poised to respond to many components of the patient safety movement.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Male
  • Medicine
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Safety Management*
  • Specialization
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Truth Disclosure